POG: WVU-Providence

The first round of the Big East Championship is in the books for the Mountaineers, though the game against Providence was certainly tougher than many anticipated.

Though just a sophomore, West Virginia forward Da'Sean Butler has put together a string of successful performances at Madison Square Garden over the past two seasons. Wednesday's opening round win over Providence for the fifth-seeded Mountaineers was another big day for the native of nearby Newark, N.J.

Butler was consistent from tip to final horn for West Virginia, finishing with 17 points on eight-of-11 shooting from the field, while narrowly missing his second consecutive double-double with nine rebounds. In Saturday's win over St. John's at MSG, Butler recorded 18 points and 10 boards, though his contributions were somewhat under the radar due to another monster effort from teammate Joe Alexander.

On Wednesday, Butler's reliability pushed the Mountaineers over the top, all but clinching an NCAA at-large berth in the process.


NET BURNERS

  • Alexander had another big day for the Mountaineers, playing all 40 minutes in the win. The junior forward scored 22 point and grabbed six rebounds while also dishing out four assists. Perhaps the more important contributions from Alexander, however, came on the defensive end of the court, picking up and slowing down PC point-forward Geoff McDermott.

  • West Virgnia is now 4-7 all-time in the first round of the Big East Championship. Three of the four wins have come over Providence (2005, 2007, 2008). Overall, the Mountaineers are 6-11 in Big East Championship play.

    In the Friars' last three trips to the event, they have been eliminated by West Virginia.

  • WVU's 47 percent shooting percentage from the field might look impressive on paper, but more shots certainly could have been found were it not for 17 turnovers by the Mountaineers.

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